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The biggest problem is the huge set of assumptions that you so easily skip. Just take your example: "$600 is paid by Client A for inspection" USD or other dollar? Paid when? To whom? What counts as an inspection? Is this a mandatory payment, or only incurred if A opts to do the inspection? Are multiple inspections allowed, If so, is this per inspection? ...


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At the syntax level, either XML or JSON would do fine. But that's the easy bit. The challenge is defining what can go in the rules. I would adopt a standard object modelling approach: what are the entities you need to represent, and what are their attributes and relationships? When you know that, encoding it in XML is easy.


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The most commonly accepted way is to use a Business Rules Engine of some sort. Of course, if you're willing to roll your own BRE, and just need a reading on the markup language to use, I would imagine that XML is as good as any. It is hierarchical, has namespaces, and is unlikely to become obsolete any time soon. Since it's likely that we're not talking ...



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